As a small business owner, setting goals is the best way to insure that your company continues to grow. There are many strategies that you may consider to help you set goals for yourself or your business that may prove to be effective. However, below I’ve listed 5 steps that I believe will be the most effective in helping you to set and keep goals to move your business forward.
- Review and Evaluate
If you want to go farther faster, you must first take a cold hard look at where you are right now. Determine if you are satisfied with where your business stands today. If you decide that you like where you are, then keep doing what you’re doing. However, if you decide that you’re not happy with your current position or situation, you must change something. We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Figure out what is working and what is not working. Evaluate every aspect of your business from start to finish. Get clear on what needs to happen in order to change your situation for the better in all areas of your business.
- Define your goals and big dreams.
One of the best parts of life is the ability to imagine things the way we want them to be rather than the way they really are. That’s called dreaming. You have to ask yourself the question; “If I were granted one wish for my business, what would it be?” If you are able to narrow down your wish list to one or two key things that you truly want or dream for your business, that should be a solid indication to you of where your focus should be spent.
You must clearly define your goals for you business in small bite size pieces. You may want to build a skyscraper building, but it will only get built one brick at a time. Sometimes it is much we dream of gigantic goals, but find ourselves unable to reach them because we have not laid out the process which involves small steps. However, if we allow ourselves to tackle our biggest goals one step at a time, we might just end up achieving them.
- Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
Undoubtedly you’ve heard about goals that are S.M.A.R.T. which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Let’s talk about each one of those areas.
Specific – when you set a goal you should be clear not ambiguous about what you want to accomplish. It’s just like deciding to take a trip. You decide to go to a specific hotel not somewhere in the vicinity. So bottom line, be exact and precise.
Measurable – setting goals that you can measure allows you to see what’s working and what is not.
Attainable – setting goals that are impossible to reach is defeating the purpose of goal setting in the first place. Don’t blue sky your goals.
Realistic – goals that stand a chance of materializing are “real” goals. Many business owners set goals that are not realistic based on their current situation. Realistic goals require a lot of moving parts. Therefore, you may have to say the” XYZ” thing can get done if the “ABC “thing happens. In the worst case scenario you know that there is nothing major that is preventing “ABC” from happening and therefore “XYZ” is realistic.
Time bound – Whoever said a goal without a deadline is just a wish was absolutely correct. Without setting deadlines to your goals, you might tend to let things linger and never get completed. It’s important to set deadlines for everything you do because it helps you maintain efficiency, productivity and accountability
- Set priorities
Being able to focus on what’s most important in your business will be critical to your success. Don’t spend too much time on what will not yield the best results or most favorable outcome for your business long term. Many entrepreneurs get caught up in what competitors might be doing and what the marketplace may say is the next big thing. However, determining where your company should invest it’s time, money and resources will serve you well and help you to create goals that benefit you.
- Accountability Matters
No matter how great of a business owner you are, there are things that you might tend to neglect or procrastinate on. When goals are are too lofty and too big, many times that is the recipe for not taking action simply because we may be unsure of where to start. Having the accountability of a mentor, coach, trainer, friend or helpful network will be beneficial in keeping you on track with your goals. Sometimes the extra push of someone we know, like and trust who is there to give us feedback or insist we keep our deadlines is all the accountability we need to achieve our goals.
Admittedly there are other factors that may help you to achieve your business goals. However, the ideas suggested above represent a good starting point to help you set goals and stay on track to achieve them.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What measures do you take to set and keep your goals? Leave me a comment below.
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Lori A. Manns is an award-winning marketing expert, sales coach and business strategist who works with small business owners to help them elevate their brand, get more dream clients and grow revenue. Lori is President of Quality Media Consultant Group and founder of the Trailblazer Business Academy where advancing entrepreneurs go to learn growth strategies and how to run a profitable business the soulful way. Lori is the creator of the Sponsorship Sales Secrets System™, which shows clients how to get more sponsors and sales for their business, guaranteed. To learn more about the work Lori does to help business owners and entrepreneurs all across the U.S. to accelerate their revenue and succeed in business, visit www.qualitymediaconsultants.com